1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Sarno v Schechter v Schubiner v Gordon

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by bobbarr, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. bobbarr

    bobbarr New Member

    I just got done reading The Way Out by Alan Gordon. I’m confused. He makes no mention of journaling or of thinking psychological.

    Schechter and Schubiner require journaling. In fact, it’s basically the main method of treatment.

    Sarno requires “thinking psychological” - whenever one becomes aware of the pain, shift attention to emotional factors.

    People have been healed by Schechter, Schubiner and Sarno. Gordon makes no mention of Journaling or of thinking psychological. His main treatment method is Somatic Tracking, yet apparent people were cured by his method as well.

    What’s more confusing is that Gordon was healed by Schubiner, but has written The Way Out recommending a very different approach. Also, Schubiner was heavily involved in the Boulder study, but the study used Gordon’s method.

    I’m confused about which approach to use, and how so many contradictory treatments can exist. I healed my neck pain using Sarno a few years ago. That’s was then replaced by this burning skin thing that drives me crazy. I have long believed that it is TMS, but wasn’t initially successful in treating it with Sarno, so I gave up and almost forgot about TMS until recently. I am now very motivated to fix this using a TMS/MBS treatment.

    But which do I use? I was recommended The Way Out by a pratitioner on the list of this wiki. It was just a brief conversation. I’ve been doing somatic tracking, but it is very different from what I did in the past and am confused about what to do.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    If what worked for you before works now, use it.
    If not, switch it up. Can’t hurt to try something new. Did you already mine your past hurts? Emotional tracking works with the current feelings without journaling. Journal if you want to.
    Gordon's theory is fear is the key. Sarno’s was Anger, Schubiner suggests we feel it all - all the complexities and layers. What resinates most for you?

    Here’s a video you can somatic track to. Great explanation of the process and practice:
    Emotional tracking is a variation Schubiner describes this process in his book but does not name it.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  3. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    They are all the saying the same thing and it's not true that any of those practitioners "require" any particular tool. They are simply tools they recommend. Journaling, meditation, somatic tracking, faith in God even, etc are just icing on the cake ...not the ACTUAL cake lol! I never did any of that and still got better. Tools are there to optimize your life and you can decide for yourself what appeals to you. We are all different, and the mind body approach is not a prescriptive program. Keep it is simple and follow what makes sense for you. There is no right or wrong when it comes to living your life. The only thing that matters is actually living your life! Don't make TMS some kind of hobby , don't get bogged down in the details, and don't revolve your life around this. Absorb the knowledge and concepts, and implement it in real life.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    The most important thing is to believe you have TMS and that your mind has created the symptoms to protect you from your emotions. To get to that state of belief some people find it useful to read about TMS on a daily basis, including success stories--what Sarno called knowledge therapy. Many people have recovered without journaling or using many of the other techniques. I used journaling and I recovered, but I don't know if it was necessary or not. Work on it daily, but don't spend more than an hour a day on it. As @miffybunny says above don't obsess about it or overdo it. People have recovered using all of the programs out there. I say just pick one that resonates with you and stick with it.

    I went through a similar period where the inconsistencies in theory and practice frustrated me. But I began to see it as a way to put off my recovery. You don't need to understand exactly how TMS works to recover from it.
    miffybunny and Cap'n Spanky like this.
  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    And just the opposite for me like miffybunny and Ellen said there just tools and for me non of them helped and i tried them all for a long period each for me the best results are just live your life the best you and can and like Ellen said believe you have TMS ..addressing some serious emotional issue is a key but not the solution . A little science can help ie: medications again just tools in your tools box . Laugh at the pain and move on ..listen to Dan Buglio for me he’s as the best advice out there .
    And please get medically cleared amd it doesn’t have to be a TMS dr …I did that also..

    Keep going never loose hope appreciate everyday and keep moving
    TG957 likes this.
  6. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    I was like you @bobbarr, in that I recovered from sciatica and tennis elbow many years ago using Dr. Sarno. Then more recently, I recovered from chronic fatigue primarily using Alan Gordon's Pain Recovery Program.

    By-the-way.... both of them worked!

    Again, like you, somatic tracking seemed very foreign to the way I recovered under Dr. Sarno. With Sarno, you "think psychologically" and in essence ignore, or minimize the importance of the pain. But with somatic tracking you're taking it a step further. You briefly wade into the shark tank and attend to the pain in a safe, controlled manner.

    Both processes are teaching your brain to reduce the fear associated with your pain, which is absolutely critical to getting better. I don't think they are in conflict.

    I believe somatic tracking is a form of mindfulness meditation and it's helpful to have some basic understanding and experience in MM.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2021
    Bitzalel Brown likes this.
  7. bobbarr

    bobbarr New Member

    1. Would you mind sharing what specifically you did to cure your sciatica and tennis elbow under Sarno and your CFS under PRT?

    2. The Way Out makes no mention whatsoever of repressed emotions. When you did PRT, did you address them at all?
  8. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Hi bobbarr! - It would be hard to summarize all I did in a few sentences or even paragraphs. This is my success story, but even there, I didn't go into a lot of detail on the specific techniques I used. Maybe I should have.

    With Sarno, I did nearly everything he suggested. Journaling, thinking psychologically, talking to my brain, etc.
    With Alan Gordon's Pain Recovery Program, I went through all of it very methodically, several times. I actually re-wrote the program in my own words to engrain the concepts in my head.

    Alan discusses repressed emotions here. I didn't really need address repressed emotions, because I was very used to the concept of feeling my emotions from my days with Dr. Sarno. Also (as noted) I practice mindfulness meditation, which is a wonderful way to experience your emotions in safe, healthy manner.

    Don't let the differences in the programs mess you up. Pick something you like and go with it. Use your success with Dr. Sarno as a platform to build on. Each program moves you toward the same goal and they all provide additional insights into recovery.
  9. bobbarr

    bobbarr New Member

    I actually saw a decent shift today after somatic tracking but only after getting in touch with a difficult emotion that I've been avoiding thinking about. I think I'm seeing what I need to do, which is a mix of somatic tracking and journaling (plus the behavioral changes - less phone, less stimulation, less high alert, that kind of stuff). I am a 100% repressor for whom journaling helps, but I really like the complete effortlessness and acceptance of symptoms of somatic tracking. PS, I'm very experienced in mindfulness as well. I've been doing all forms, whether breathing, body scans, open awareness (my favorite) etc for 15 years. Admittedly not as regularly as I probably should at various times. What actually initially had me skeptical about PRT is that somatic tracking is so similar to body scanning and open awareness, and mindfulness by itself is simply not enough to fix TMS. As per my own experience, and Schechters advice in Think Away Your Pain. It may very well be the one main difference between body scanning and somatic tracking - sending messages of safety - that makes tracking work for chronic pain.

    I really think adding journaling to PRT is going to be important for me. Maybe not as regularly as if doing Sarno alone, but when I feel I need it. Even after a solid tracking session, I can still often have that nagging feeling that something beneath the surface is bothering me, which I think is hindering me. My initial foray into Sarno that healed my neck was effective, but a LOT has happened since then and I've become much more of a repressor. This skin burning thing is a whole different beast.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  10. Miriam G. Bongiovanni

    Miriam G. Bongiovanni Peer Supporter

    @bobbar, I've been wondering about this subject myself, as a TMS Coach who has based the majority of my techniques on what I learnt from Sarno (and who recovered completely thanks to emotional work, which included journaling, but also meditation and pain reprocessing techniques - although we didn't call them by that name at the time). Here are my thoughts:

    Alan Gordon explains the link between fear and pain exceptionally well in his book, but although he does mention the link between increased stress and pain onset, he doesn't go into detail when it comes to repression and emotional work.

    I think that PRT (somatic tracking) can be a great tool to work with your fear of pain and change your reactions. Because pain will persist for as long as you react to it with fear, negativity, helplessness, frustration, and disappointment. In fact, this is the reason why people stay stuck in pain even after they've resolved the original stressor.

    That said, I believe that true healing always takes place at a deeper level. We can decrease or eliminate pain through somatic tracking, but if there is still a significant issue that is being repressed or not properly dealt with, we are only making ourselves candidates for another symptom (the symptom imperative). Self-awareness work and journaling can bring a lot of enlightenment and emotional release. I know that we've hit the nail in the head when someone bursts out crying during one of my sessions - often, we'd been talking about something else (such as how bad the pain is), but then luckily we stumble across an issue that's deeply significant. Now, you don't have to necessarily cry to know that you've identified what you've been repressing; but you will feel it, and you will find yourself brainstorming about what can be changed for the better.

    I hope this helps in some way. My motto is: always try to tackle your symptoms from all angles.
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.

Share This Page